Ordinarily, if one asks a prominent elected official about their party’s prospects in the coming elections, you can expect generic optimism. “Our party has great ideas, a great record, and great candidates,” he or she will say, “and I think voters will respond well to our great message.”
But once in a great while, politicians will slip and accidentally speak their minds. Jon Ralston, for example, caught Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey’s (R) appearance on a conservative radio talk show, and noticed Hickey getting “careless.”
“Probably where we had a million voters turn out in 2012; we’ll have like 700,000 [in 2014]. A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential year. It’s a great year for Republicans!”
Dear Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey, your party doesn’t want you to say this out loud.
If Hickey wants to make the case that 2014 will be “a great year for Republicans” because the party is offering the electorate a better vision for the future, more power to him. But that’s not what he said. Rather, the Nevada GOP leader think it’ll be “a great year for Republicans” because he assumes black, Latino, and younger voters won’t vote on Election Day.
In other words, the key to Republican optimism is confidence that more Americans won’t show up to vote. Why have GOP officials waged such an aggressive “war on voting”? Why did Republican celebrate the demise of the Voting Rights Act? This is why.
Ralston summarized the Democratic response this way: “Yes, you heard that right – the Republican Party is so out-of-touch with Nevada families they are finally admitting the only way they can win an election is for as few people to vote as possible.”